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Skillet Creamy Parmesan Penne Recipe (Freezer-Friendly)

I’m not a vegetarian, but I’ve made a lot of delicious vegetarian recipes lately. The crockpot curried lentils were so good that I’m kicking myself for not saving the recipe for a future eCookbook, and the veggie lo mein recipe is my kids’ new favorite.

This skillet creamy parmesan penne recipe was part of a recent freezer meal prep session that I did for one of my good friends who is pregnant.  She’s a vegetarian and I wanted to make a mix of meals that could be cooked on the stovetop, crockpot, and oven.

Just like all of my freezer recipes, this one doesn’t require any cooking ahead of time. Simply combine the ingredients in a baggie and freeze! (YES, EVEN THE NOODLES.)

Skillet Creamy Parmesan Penne Recipe (Freezer-Friendly)

If you want to skip the freezing step and make everything fresh in the skillet instead, that’s perfectly fine. I like to make freezer meals for busy weeknights, but this would be easy to make fresh and you’ll enjoy the same creamy cheesy-ness either way.  It’s like a grown-up version of mac ‘n cheese, folks!

Skillet Freezer Meals eBookSkillet Creamy Parmesan Penne Recipe (Freezer-Friendly)

Yields: 6 servings


  • 16oz heavy cream (2 cups or 1 pint)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fresh parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1-pound box uncooked penne pasta (about 5 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 32oz low sodium vegetable broth (not needed until day of cooking)

To Freeze and Cook Later

  1. Label a gallon-sized plastic freezer bag with the name of the recipe, cooking instructions, and use-by date (3 months from the prep date).
  2. Add all ingredients to freezer bag (except broth), seal, and freeze up to three months.

To Cook

  1. Thaw overnight in fridge or before cooking in water.
  2. Pour ingredients into a large non-stick pot, sauté pan, or skillet. Add vegetable broth.
  3. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until pasta is cooked, stirring occasionally.

Top with toasted pinenuts and serve with a salad.

Skillet Creamy Parmesan Penne Recipe (Freezer-Friendly)

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8 years ago

I love the flexibility of this recipe! I never would have thought to freeze a dish like this. I bet it would be good with frozen broccoli, too.

7 years ago
Reply to  Kelly McNelis

I made this fresh last night, and my husband and I really enjoyed it–thank you for the recipe! I threw in some fresh baby spinach leaves during the last few minutes of cooking, and it worked out great!

Cristiani Oliveira
Cristiani Oliveira
8 years ago

Hi Kelly,
thanks for another great recipe.
Just a question, I tried this and the heavy cream became weird (watery) after freezing. Has this happen to your recipe as well? Any idea what I did wrong? Thank you so much.
Kind regards from Lisbon, Portugal.

Cristiani Oliveira
Cristiani Oliveira
8 years ago

Hi Kelly
This happens many times when I freeze heavy cream. After cooking the result is not the same as when I freeze the dish first. The consistency of the heavy cream changes. I am thinking of adding the heavy cream only on the day of cooking. that will for sure solve the problem.
Thanks again!

8 years ago

This was so delicious! I am so excited about these freezer to skillet/freezer to oven meals you’ve been working on! Thanks for sharing!


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